Team Management: Enhancing leadership and collaboration

In the field of organizational management we often encounter deficiencies and opportunities for improvement, especially when faced with recurring challenges in our daily work. To effectively address these issues, it is essential to establish a methodology that allows structuring and developing continuous improvement processes that manages reliable identification, organization and solution of these problems.

One of the key methods used for this purpose is the establishment of well-organized teams. Teamwork, although challenging, offers the most promising approach to address these problems, but it is also the most difficult practice to be used inside the organization.

So, how can we foster human development and successful teamwork in organizations?

By fostering  different skills and capabilities, enhancing  the leadership maturity inside the teams and leading them for better results. Keeping lines of communication and information exchange open is crucial. In addition, involving team members in decision-making processes that affect the group allows them to feel a sense of ownership and belonging.

Moreover, teams that feel self-managed become high-performing teams. Motivation is high and accountability and ownership remain high. A shared vision and shared values serve references to enhance performance.

But what exactly is ‘management’?

In technical terms, “management” refers to how companies organize and direct the flow of work, operations and employees to achieve business objectives.

To build a successful team management relationship, the traditional definition of management needs to be slightly adapted. Management should focus on involving the individuals in the team, guided by a leader who keeps everyone informed, shares the vision and objectives, and guides the team towards achieving the goals with the highest quality. Leader shall become a reference for them and create a culture, promoting work as a whole inside the same process. 

Management is not about organizing and making decisions. Management’s main objective is to create an environment that empowers employees to work efficiently and productively,  providing them with assistance and support along the way.

So how can management effectively support teams?

It is not just about motivation, but about creating conditions that foster intrinsic motivation, such as curiosity, the desire to learn, dignity and teamwork.

The traditional hierarchical management usually creates barriers to creativity, among others: fear of being wrong, feeling of rivalry or competition with colleagues, perception of arbitrariness of the manager, etc.

Encouraging people to achieve individual or group objectives can sometimes unintentionally generate rivalry, which can potentially undermine overall organizational and collective results, even when individual and group objectives are achieved. This occurs because it has not been understood that the organization is a complex system and as such must be seen as a whole.

To build a productive motivated team, leaders should cultivate an environment for creativity, collaboration and continuous learning.

The ideal model to follow is: ‘creative leadership’. Today’s organizations need leaders who are able to develop the skills and capabilities of individuals for the benefit of the organization, society and each team member.

To embark on this model, leaders with management skills should take responsibility for the following actions:

  • Promote satisfaction, morale and pride in work. An efficient team is one in which all people want to go to work because they feel satisfied and fulfilled in it.
  • Establish transparent, trustworthy and honest team conditions that naturally promote motivation, learning and improvement.
  • Encourage participation and collaboration in an environment of creativity and innovation. A team wants to collaborate in the joint search for solutions and better ways of working when success belongs to everyone. When success is a shared achievement, teams are motivated to collaborate in seeking solutions and improving working methods.
  • Eliminate the fear of making mistakes and encourage the idea that everything can be improved and everything is possible.
  • Adapt and enhance skills to work with permanent on-the-job training.
  • Ensure that the compensation and promotion model does not hinder teamwork and collaboration. Practices that promote rivalry between people and/or departments shall be avoided.
  • Attribute  successes to the whole team.
  • Search for solutions, not for failures or guilties. Focusing on finding solutions rather than blaming others
  • Ensure reciprocal, sincere and useful communication. Promote active listening and effective communication practices
  • Make all people from the team feel part of the common purposes and understand how they participate in its achievement.
  • The leader shall promote listening, support, participation and advisory without imposing.

How to be considered a ‘successful team leader’?

Most people think that being a successful leader is managing a team, doing the decision making over people. However,  this statement does not mean that this person is a true leader, nor a successful team manager. Successful leaders are those who support the people around them and their teams.

People are the first thing to take into account when managing teams. If organizations or teams want to enhance, the first thing to consider is to invest in improving people’s personal quality and satisfaction, people feeling comfortable in their jobs, inside their teams, encouraging and supporting them, and managers learning about thinking before acting.

Managers that are capable of being another member of the team and enhancing their capabilities and values, are the ones that will become successful team leaders.